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Best Kitchen Island

By Lianne Jones June 11, 2022 0 comments

A kitchen island has become a permanent fixture in the modern kitchen. Whether you have an open kitchen or as smaller cuisine space, there’s a variety of kitchen islands on the market to meet all your island criteria.

Kitchen islands are great because they can offer added functionality and flexibility for your kitchen space.

Whether that’s by providing extra storage space for your utensils, additional workspace for preparing food, or just an alternative dining area for you and your family; an island is truly the most versatile component in a kitchen.

There’s such a large gallery of island variants, each possessing their own specialities.

We reviewed hundreds of kitchen islands, categorized them and chosen our best picks in each category for you to explore.

COSTWAY Rolling Kitchen Island

 

Our pick for the best overall kitchen island is the Costway Rolling Kitchen Island. For those of you with a fairly spacious open kitchen, this island ticks all the boxes in terms of storage, design, features and portability.

Blessed with a hard and waterproof rubber wood countertop, this kitchen island is not only a durability ace, capable of lasting for decades, but it’s also easy to clean.

Combining a sturdy structure and solid build, you’ll certainly enjoy reliable usage with this kitchen island.

Being propped up by 4 premium rubber surface wheels, Costway’s kitchen island produces less noise and reduces floor scratching.

Fully-featured with a drop-leaf, a spacious bottom cabinet, adjustable cupboard shelves, a towel rack, and a spice storage with an additional crossbar bracket to stop bottles from falling down. Everything to meet your convenience needs.

You can enjoy these features once you finish the lengthy assembly process, which is the main downside.

Pros

  • Packed with features
  • Portable: Smooth, quiet and clean rolling with its lockable castors
  • Spacious Cupboards: with adjustable shelves within
  • Durability: A sturdy build to last decades
  • Drop-leaf Design: To enable stool seating

Cons

  • No color variants
  • Lengthy Assembly Process

DImensions (inches): 54 X 30 X 36

Winchcombe - Buttermilk Kitchen Trolley

Many assume that a kitchen island must be the expensive centerpiece in the heart of the kitchen, but that isn’t the case. You can inject your kitchen with a new lease of life by adding a budget island to compliment you existing kitchen.

Now, we understand that everyone has a different budget threshold, but what you’ll notice is that the cheaper a kitchen island, the less durable it is, and the more basic its design.

Maybe you prefer the basic look but we wanted a budget island that does more, that’s why we’ve chosen Winchcombe Buttermilk Kitchen Island as our best budget island.

Made of solid wood, this budget kitchen island definitely ticks the durability box making it a mainstay in your kitchen.

With two cupboards, one drawer, and three bottle racks it has plenty of storage room for a budget island. Coated in a buttermilk paint finish and varnished worktop, to compliment your kitchen’s look.

Pros

  • Durable Build: Made of reliable solid wood
  • Storage Space: Able to store a range of items
  • Portable: Smooth rolling with its lockable castor wheels
  • Delivered fully assembled: Just add worktop, castors and handles

Cons

  • No space for seating

Dimensions (Inches): 34” x 27” x 16”

Americana White & Distressed Oak Kitchen Island

 

If it’s sturdiness you’re after then this kitchen island is the one for you.
Highly rated on both Amazon and Walmart, you’re sure to be getting a quality product in both.

The island features raised details on the cabinet doors and comes in white, oak and black finishes; a trio of finishes to suit a host of kitchen styles.

Durable hardwood and antique nickel hardware make this island a permanent fixture in any open-floor plan kitchen. Complete with a drop-leaf extension to allow for counter stools up to 24 inches.

Pros

  • Durable Build: Made of reliable hardwood
  • Multiple Finishes: Black, White & Distressed Oak
  • Drop-leaf Extension: For Stool Seating
  • Adjustable Interior Shelving: To meet your storage needs

Cons

  • Time-consuming assembly

Dimensions (inches): 49.75 x 26.5 x 36.5

Winsome Drop-Leaf Island

 

Yes, it's nice to have more spacious island, but sometimes your kitchen plan just doesn’t allow for it. That’s why it’s important to make use of the limited space with a smaller island that still packs a punch.

Small but mighty! That’s the perhaps the best way to describe the next island in our line up.

Robust construction of beeachwood and brushed nickel hardware will keep the island feeling solid. A lot of storage space packed inside for an efficient use of space.

It even has a hinged drop-leaf design, meaning you can extend the prep space by an additional 20 inches, if the need ever arises, whilst maintaining the size small when the island isn’t in use.

Pros

  • Drop-leaf Design: Grants an extra 20 inches of prep space
  • Efficient Storage Space: includes a utensil drawer, an open shelf and a two-door storage cabinet
  • Portable: Smooth rolling with its lockable castor wheels

Cons

  • No colour variants

Dimensions (inches): 33.25 x 25.25 x 20

Williams Sonoma Barrelson Kitchen Island

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/barrelson-kitchen-island-carrara-marble-top/

For those of you with a large open-plan kitchen, it’s only right to invest in a large kitchen island. The Barrelson Kitchen Island is an large option that will add style and function to any open kitchen.

Measuring at 7-feet long, it certainly makes its presence felt and imposes itself with a beautiful Italian piece of white marble countertop, and solid wood construct.

The island’s high-end portion is sculpted from solid wood and comes with two hardware options.

The island features four drawers and two enclosed cabinets for storage on one side, and sit-in spacing for you to comfortably sit using a bar stool, on the other side. 

This island is supported by stately columns on each end, and four open shelves offer additional storage. Each side has a towel bar, as well, and the wide cabinet features an adjustable shelf inside. 

However, the main issue with a marble countertop is that it can stain if exposed to acidic foods like wine or coffee, so you’ll need marshall the spillages and the surface throroughly.

Pros

  • Attractive marble top: A standout centerpiece
  • Variety of Storage Spaces: Cupboards, shelves, towel bar
  • Seating Space: Overhang for comfortable seating
  • Includes White Glove Delivery

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Marble prone to stainage by acidic foods

Dimensions (inches): 36 x 84 x 34

Buyer’s Guide

So you’ve been tasked with buying a kitchen Island but you don’t know where to start.

There are so many variants, materials, designs and sizes, as well as many other factors, that can make picking an island a rather tricky task.

But there’s no need to panic, we’re here to guide you through the things to look for when choosing a kitchen island that’s perfect for you.

Size

As you plan your new kitchen layout, understanding the size of your kitchen is the first step in choosing the right kitchen island size.

If you have a large enough open-plan kitchen, you may want to install an island as the centerpiece of your kitchen space but you need to be careful not to make it overbearing on the entire setup.

A crucial element that is often overlooked when considering an island size is the walkways left around the island. These walkways need to be adequately wide enough to ensure your kitchen is practical and safe.

Our advice would be to leave at least 50 inches (127 cm) between the island and the kitchen counter.

Therefore bigger isn’t always better. Larger islands certainly bring a presence but sometimes they can be impractical.

So, before you decide on an island, check your measurements to ensure it’s proportional to your kitchen. We recommend allowing a 50 to 55 inches space along the island’s perimeter.

As well as the width of the island, you also need to consider its height because you don’t want to strain your arms while dining or cutting onions.

The standard height of a kitchen island is 36 inches, this usually matches the height of a countertop in an American home.

Although, for those of you who usually dine at your island, 42 inches would be the recommended height that allows space for legroom.

Functionality

Next thing you will want to do is ask yourself, what’s the most important thing you want your island to do. Are you looking for plenty of storage space? Then search for an island with multiple cabinets, drawers and shelves.

Do you crave having a larger workspace? Then consider the countertop’s material and potential reactions to certain liquids. Marble tends to stain when in comes in contact with acidic foods like coffee or wine.

Do you need your island to be easy to assemble and move about? Then castor wheels are an essential feature of your future island.

Will you need to adapt how you interact with your kitchen, in terms of preparation and dining?

Perhaps features such as a towel rack and open shelves may be important to your workflow, or a drop-leaf design and adequate spaces for bar stools may be a must for your kitchen.

Understanding your workflow in your kitchen will help you narrow down the desired features and functions of your ideal kitchen island. 

Plumbing And Wiring

Many of the islands on this list and on the market are essentially portable workspaces, having castors to enable mobility.

However, you’ll also find islands that are to be fixed in their position. These types of islands sometimes feature a sink or provide space for a stove, dishwasher or washing machine etc.

If you favor the latter type of island for its ability to house a kitchen appliance, then you’re going to need to consider the added costs of installing plumbing and wiring through the floor.

Should the benefits outweigh the costs in your opinion, then you can enjoy the convenience of an island sink or electrical plugs for your appliances.

Fixed or permanent kitchen islands are always installed in the early stages of a kitchen’s construction or when during a major redesign. What’s more, a fully wired island will increase the resale value of your house.

Color & Design

The color and design of your island will all depend on the look and aesthetic of your present kitchen.

Many homeowners opt for a all-white vibe in their kitchen, but sometimes that can be viewed as plain, and brightness of an all-white kitchens can sometimes be overwhelming.

That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to include some darker hues or add a splash of color to your kitchen’s vibe.

Islands with a black finish always produce a more premium feel but there’s no denying that an oakwood countertop on a white finish is a match made in heaven.

Not to mention islands with marble countertops taking the crown as the ultimate centerpiece in a kitchen, exuding class and luxury!

If you want to experiment with colour then this is your time to really make this island your own because a splash of color on an island can revamp an otherwise drab kitchen.

Stool Placement

Another thing to consider when deciding on a kitchen island is the stool placement in relation the drop-leaf feature.

Make sure the drop-leaf extends far enough to afford you some leg room when you use a stool. And the placement of these stools are so important to those who like to keep close company while they cook.

Storage

Arguably the most important feature to consider when choosing a kitchen island is the extra storage space you’re afforded. Consider what exactly it is you need to store and how much of need storing.

So, whether it’s spices, pots or cook books, you’ll need cupboards, drawers shelves or racks with adequate space to meet your needs.

If you want to display cook books or utensils, then an island with open shelves could be your go to option but should you desire to be more discreet, then look for the opposite island variant.

Some variants include wine racks but if you personally don’t store wine that way, then it’s wasted storage space on your island.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Kitchen Islands Still Popular?

Yes, kitchen islands are still popular and many homeowners consider them a staple fixture in an open kitchen. In fact, it is difficult to picture a period when kitchen islands will no longer be popular.

Ever since the 1980s, when kitchens began to grow in size, island have continued to be a desired feature in a kitchen’s design, considered by many as the powerhouse of a modern day kitchen.

The extra counter and storage space, as well as the option for a sink or appliance, or simple just as an eating area make islands, makes kitchen islands a loved versatile fixture.

How Do You Decorate A Kitchen Island?

Decorating your kitchen island is a nice way to add a little more personality to your kitchen island, or indeed your kitchen in general.

Plants never seem to go out of style, so why not add a vase of flowers or small plant from the store as a finishing touch to your island.

However, make sure you don’t clutter the countertop with miscellaneous items because you’ll still need that area as a workspace or dining area.

To put it simply, feel free to decorate your island with small items that don’t overwhelm the area. Vases and plants are great because they are easy to move out of the way when you need the space.

When it comes to below the countertop, displaying matching baskets or mugs is a great way to decorate any open shelves on your island.

Or you could try color coordinating the spices on display, which would be a nice touch of detail. Some cook books could also add some finesse to your island.

Can You Use A Kitchen Island As A Dining Table?

Sure you can! Especially in an open kitchen. As long as you select comfortable stools (ideally stools with backrests) that will maintain good posture during meal time, and as long as the dining area is a good distance from the cooking area.

This may prove tricky if your cooker is built into your island.

That being said, it may not be a good idea to use your kitchen island as a dining table if you have lots of guests dining because the island may not be spacious enough to facilitate a mealtime with lots of guests. 

Can You Put An Island In A Small Kitchen?

As we discussed earlier, there are enough kitchen islands out there to fit the size of any kitchen. Just make sure that the island you choose compliments your kitchen and doesn’t limit or impede your movement when cooking.


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